Hare Psychopathy Checklist

The Psychopathy Checklist or Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, now the Psychopathy Checklist—revised (PCL-R), is a psychological assessment tool most commonly used to assess the presence of psychopathy in individuals. Each of the 20 items in the PCL-R is scored on a three-point scale, with a rating of 0 if it does not apply at all, 1 if there is a partial match or mixed information, and 2 if there is a reasonably good match to the offender.

  1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM: smooth talking, verbally agile, a psychopath is rarely stuck for something to say. They are not in the least bit shy. In fact, they are not afraid to say anything!
  2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH: they have an opinion on everything, they boast and brag about the things they have done, their skills and abilities. They have enormous egos, plenty of confidence and arrogance and consider themselves superior. One psychopath said that he preferred to hear himself talk, because what he said was more interesting than what other people had to say.
  3. SEEK STIMULATION or PRONE TO BOREDOM: they like to be doing new and different things, always looking for excitement and entertainment. They take risks in what they do as well as what they say. For example, cult leaders, in a subtle way, may explain to their victims how exactly they are manipulating them. They rarely engage in activities that they find boring, or they don’t finish the job. 
  4. PATHOLOGICAL LYING: their ability to lie is stunning, even when they know there is a high probability of being caught. Lies can be cunning and sly or unscrupulously manipulative.
  5. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS: they deceive, cheat, con, bilk, trick or defraud others for personal gain. This is separated from no. 4 to the extent that the subject shows ‘callous ruthlessness’, that is, a lack of concern or pity for the suffering and feelings of their victims. 
  6. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT: despite their words they experience little emotion or concern for the pain and suffering of their victims. They are unfazed, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. There is often a disdain for the victims, and they may even say the victims deserved it. 
  7. SHALLOW AFFECT: emotional poverty or very shallow feelings, coldness towards others despite seeming very friendly. 
  8. CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY: a general lack of feelings towards other people. They tend to be heartless, contemptuous, indifferent and tactless. 
  9. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE: they will intentionally manipulate and exploit others for financial gain. This goes along with poor motivation and little self-discipline and no sense of responsibility in terms of earning their own living. 
  10. POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS: there may be sudden expressions of annoyance, irritability, aggression and verbal abuse. There may be sudden outbursts of anger and temper and they may act hastily. 
  11. PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR: they may have many brief encounters, many affairs while married, and may be indiscriminate in selecting partners (heterosexual and homosexual relationships) and even maintain several relationships at the same time. There is often a history of attempting to coerce many people into sexual relationships and they may take great pride in discussing their sexual conquests.
  12. EARLY BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS: there is often a history of antisocial behavior before age 13, including lying, stealing, cheating, vandalism, bullying, truancy, sexual activity, fire-setting, substance abuse, and running away from home. Cruelty to animals or siblings is particularly ominous.
  13. LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS: while they talk about big plans, they show an inability or persistent failure to execute long-term goals; then may drift from one place to another lacking any real direction in life.
  14. IMPULSIVITY: many of their behaviors are not premeditated and seem to be unplanned. They seem unable to resist temptation and urges or to delay gratification. They may not consider the consequences and so they appear reckless, foolhardy and unpredictable.
  15. IRRESPONSIBILITY: they will repeatedly fail to honor commitments or obligations, in school, work, family or social situations. The fail to turn up, don’t pay bills, fail to honor contracts etc.
  16. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS: it seems like it’s never their fault or their responsibility. They have little or no sense of duty or conscientiousness and often deny their responsibility. And in denying, they will even try and manipulate others!
  17. LACK LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS: inability to maintain a long-term relationship because they are inconsistent and unreliable.
  18. JUVENILE DELINQUENCY: behavioral difficulties between the ages of 13-18. Typically behaviors that are crimes or are clearly manipulative, aggressive and callous.
  19. REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE: they may have had their probation revoked for technical reasons such as failing to appear, carelessness and so on.
  20. CRIMINAL VERSATILITY: unlike other criminals who may specialize in one area, they are often involved in diverse activities, taking great pride at getting away with crimes.

Subjects score between 0 and 40, zero being no psychopathy symptoms and 40 being a full-blown psycho path. Normal individuals typically score less than five and many non-psychopathic criminals (who do actually have symptoms of antisocial personality disorder) may score 20 to 22. 

A score over 30 diagnoses the presence of psychopathy.